Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Garage in Downtown Oklahoma City Attacks Parking Misperception

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Garage in Downtown Oklahoma City Attacks Parking Misperception

Article excerpt

The first phase of the downtown Galleria parking garage project is nearly complete, albeit two months behind schedule because of weather delays, said Amy Ford, spokeswoman for the Central Oklahoma Transit and Parking Authority.

Downtown business leaders said they're pleased with the parking space now available in Oklahoma City. If anything needs improvement, it's the public promotion of parking.

It's been improving over time, Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. President Dave Lopez said. There's just not a full awareness of just how much parking we have now in downtown, with the additional spaces of the Galleria garage and the new county garage opening up. So I think we need to do a better job of educating the general public.

One side of the Galleria garage at Sheridan and Hudson Avenues will be open by the end of the month, Ford said, allowing parking on the first five floors. The first phase had been planned for completion in January but was held up mostly because of high winds. The second phase will commence immediately after the first and be complete after about 12 months, she said. Some prefabrication work for Phase II has already been under way.

The parking authority also is reviewing suggestions from Lopez's organization to change the parking garage name, she said.

When the $23 million project is complete, it will add about 1,000 spaces to downtown parking. Oklahoma County officials have said they expect another 1,000-space garage costing about $10 million at Hudson and Dean A. McGee avenues to be open this spring.

The completion of both garages will bring the COTPA total to 7,377 parking spaces. Combined with commercial properties, the overall downtown area and most of Bricktown will number more than 18,400 spaces.

Lopez said that by the nature of its architecture, the new Galleria garage will attract visitors to park.

We've had quite a few out-of-town visitors come by already, with it only being half done, and it sparks very favorable comments, he said. …

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